Don’t fall prey to the summer sales slumpArticle added by Paul Mallett on June 23, 2014
Paul M Mallett

Paul Mallett

Defiance, OH

Joined: September 27, 2012

Now that I am fairly certain winter is finally over here in the heartland, I can start thinking about all of the things I want to do this summer. I don’t know if it’s because winter was so darned long or if it’s because I’m another year older and I can feel my biological clock ticking, but my summer checklist seems to be extraordinarily long this year. I’m thinking multiple motorcycle trips, camping, baseball games, concerts, and of course, more time with the grandkids. But I’m also thinking about how to avoid the dreaded summer sales slump.

You know what I’m talking about. Some experience it worse than others, but nearly everyone sees a drop-off of some sort between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

While I agree it’s real, I don’t agree that we have to just sit back and let it happen. Worst case, we can minimize the impact. Best case, we may be able to eliminate it altogether. The key is to not allow it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Here are a few things you can do to bust the slump before it happens and make hay while the sun shines:

Have a plan. Don’t just wing it and hope things will be different this year. Be proactive. Start now. What specific actions can you take right now to keep your pipeline full and, at the very least, be ready to hit it hard come September?

Get your head right. Don’t accept the slump as a given. Thoughts become reality. If you think the summer will be a loss, then it will. Take time to enjoy the summer, but don’t get carried away. Contrary to what you might think, the rest of the world does not stop functioning after Memorial Day. People still need life insurance. They still need to save for retirement. Retirees still need income planning.

Hold client appreciation events. What better time to thank your clients and encourage them to bring a friend for a cookout or an open house? Cook up some burgers and brats, and hand out a few nice door prizes.

Participate in community events. Summer is the season for street festivals, county fairs, youth baseball and softball tournaments, and more. There are ample opportunities for sponsorships, merchant booths, and other great ways to meet new people, build your brand, and set appointments.

Get people thinking about life insurance for their children. Summer is all about the kids, right? Ask your parent clients and prospects if they have ever considered life insurance on the kids. Premiums are affordable, underwriting is usually easy, and what better way to lock in insurability for the future?
Talk about college-funding alternatives. On a similar note, what about college funding? School’s out, and graduation ceremonies are over but not necessarily forgotten. There may not be much you can do for this year’s senior class, but it’s still a great time to talk to parents with younger kids. They may know someone from this year’s graduating class whose parents didn’t plan well and were forced into much more painful financing options than you can provide.

Reach out to your teacher clients and prospects. Get with your clients and prospects who are teachers to review their situation and get them thinking about potential gaps in their overall financial plan. Most teachers I know are pretty darned good at switching into summer vacation mode, but they do have more free time available, which means they are often in a better state of mind to think about big-picture things like legacy planning, retirement and preparing for the unexpected.

Call early. Whether it’s a teacher or any prospect, it’s a good idea to try to reach them early in the day during the summer. Catch them before they head to the pool or hit the road for a day trip. Schedule your calls or visits early in the week, too. It gets much harder to reach anyone on a Friday during the summer.

Keep networking. Summer doesn’t have to mean a sabbatical from your networking and referral activities. Keep those relationships alive. If you’re part of a networking group, attend your meetings as you normally would. As I said earlier, life goes on for most people during the summer. If your group gets smaller during the summer, take advantage. It may mean a chance for more intimate conversations and inspire more unique cross-marketing opportunities for you. Think outside the box!

Invest some time in personal development. Even if you follow all of this advice and your own ideas, chances are you will still find yourself with some quiet time this summer. Use some of that time to sharpen the saw. Don’t spend all of it on the golf course or sipping adult beverages around the pool. Take a little time to reflect on those core issues that stand between you and your vision for success. Choose one or two specific topics to focus on, and learn something that will help make that vision a reality. I’m talking about more than your required continuing education. I mean something you wouldn’t ordinarily have time for through the rest of the year. Take an online course. Read a book. Attend a live event.

I would love to hear some of the strategies you use to keep your business thriving during the summer months. Share them below. Make it quick, though. I’m headed to the pool.
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